Basic Troubleshooting Tips for eDirectory on Linux

geoffc

By: geoffc

October 14, 2008 12:03 pm

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Novell eDirectory is a powerful directory service, and one of its nicest features is that it is very cross platform. It pretty much runs on most major server operating systems. (Basically everything but Mac or BSD). One of the upsides is that the same basic code base is used on all these platforms which helps expose bugs that otherwise you would never figure out. The downside is that they have to support the same code on all those platforms, and deal with platform specific bugs on all of them.

The major downside to this cross platform’ness from my perspective is that the troubleshooting techniques are slightly different for each platform.

For example, running on Netware, eDirectory is automatically started and you can only have a single instance running on a server.

Running on Windows you can have multiple instances, but eDirectory is a service that runs and can fail to start. There is a GUI to show loaded modules, and load or unload them from it.

On Linux you can have multiple instances, and unloading modules is a little trickier, being command line based, but conversly more powerful since it is inherently scriptable.

You can see some more about the many face of Dstrace in the article, The Many Faces of DSTRACE.

Of course with supporting eDirectory on so many platforms, locations of files, ports used by application, can be different.

For example, on Netware, there was a truly excellent tool called DSbrowse. Its predecesor, DSView was very powerful, but the interface was beyond cryptic. With DSBrowse, it got a new C-Worthy interface (the blue background with yellow text (Or is it green? I am a bit colour blind and cannot tell) menuing system common on Netware) and was very easy to use to examine the current state of objects in the directory.

For other platforms, there was a short lived port to Windows called XBrowse, but that went away. The replacement is to use iMonitor, which is cross platform, to get a web view of the object state in the local replicas. The idea is that all the functionality of DSBrowse should be exposed via iMonitor in a cross platform way.

iMonitor runs as part of the HTTPSTK web server, which on Open Enterprise Server (Netware AND Linux kernels) runs the Novell Remote Manager interface. If you have just eDirectory installed, you get an instance of HTTPSTK running that has a secure and unsecure port, for DHost and iMonitor. DHost is a Web view of the loaded modules to try and let you load and unload them in a cross platform way.

On Netware, HTTPSTK listens by default on port 8008 (http), and 8009 (https).
On Windows, HTTPSTK listens by default on port 8010 (http), and 8011 (https).
On Linux, AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris (the Unix platforms), HTTPSTK listens by default on port 8028 (http), and 8030. (https).

If there is a port conflict at install time, the ports usually default to increment up by 2 until they find a free port.

The web based DSTrace, is part of iMonitor and is probably the most common part of iMonitor that is used, but it is only a single part of the very useful tool for examining eDirectory on a local server.

The DIB (the files where the actual eDirectory database is stored) files are located differently on each platform by default, and on Unix builds differs between eDirectory 8.7.3.x and 8.8.x versions.

Once you go to multiple instances, you need a seperate path for each instance, so the defaults become pretty meaningless quickly.

The old standby Dsrepair is very different on the various platforms. On Netware it DSREPAIR.NLM with a C-Worthy interface. On Windows it is dsrepair.dlm that is loaded via the DHost GUI, or called via iMonitor. On Linux/Unix it is ndsrepair, with a large series of command line switches to make it dance to your tune. Again, this makes it inherently more scriptable, but has a steeper learning curve to get up to speed. There is a free ‘curses’ (Sort of a Linux/Unix equivalent to C-Worthy) interface that wraps ndsrepair and gives you back many of the old menus familair from the Netware days.

ndstrace is a very powerful tool on Linux, and beyond the usual tracing of events that have been done in Dstrace over the years, it also has some interesting functions, like the “modules” command. Here is the output of the modules command from an eDir 8.8.1, server Novell Identity Manager installed but not running. It turns out the core modules for Identity Manager are “vrdim” (from the days when the product was first code named virtual replicas I imagine) and “dxevent”.

vrdim           Not Loaded
statuslg        Not Loaded
sss             Not Loaded
ssncp           Not Loaded
ssldp           Not Loaded
spmdclnt        Running
snmpinst        Not Loaded
snmp            Not Loaded              SNMP Trap Server for Novell eDirectory 8.8.1
snmp-0          Not Loaded
sasl            Not Loaded
repair          Not Loaded
pkiserver       Not Loaded              Novell Certificate Server
pkiinst         Not Loaded
nmasldap        Not Loaded
nmasinst        Not Loaded
nmas            Running
nldap           Not Loaded              LDAP Agent for Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1
niciext         Not Loaded              SDI/SASDFM Transport Service
ndsinfo         Not Loaded
ndsclone        Not Loaded              Directory Clone Agent For Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1
merge           Not Loaded
lsss            Not Loaded
ldapxs          Not Loaded
krbpwd          Not Loaded
jvmload         Not Loaded
imon            Not Loaded              NDS iMonitor 2.4 for Novell eDirectory v20111.59
hconserv        Not Loaded              HTTP Console Server For Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1
gwadj2          Not Loaded
gams            Running         Graded Authentication Management Service
embox           Not Loaded              eDirectory Management Tool Box Engine
dxldap          Not Loaded
dxevent         Running
dump            Not Loaded
dsr             Not Loaded
dsi             Not Loaded
dsbk            Not Loaded
backupcr        Not Loaded
auditds         Not Loaded
dstrace         Running         Trace For Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1
httpstk         Running         HTTP Protocol Stack For Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1 [ nds ]
nds             Running         Directory Agent For Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1
masv            Running         Mandatory Access Control Service
dsloader        Running         Loader Services For Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1 [ httpstk ]
dhlog           Running         DHost message logging module for Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1
ncpengine       Running         NCP Protocol Stack For Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1
ndsd            Running         Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1 Host Environment

[1] Instance at /etc/opt/novell/eDirectory/conf/nds.conf: NYCSUSE2.OU=servers.O=twcny.TWCIDVAULT

When you run ndstrace in a terminal session, at least via SSH it does not seem to recognize that the screen has been resized, if you change its size to make it easier to read. I find I have to stop and restart the ndstrace process to get to use the extra real estate. I imagine a terminal on the server console would catch the resize event.

Above we have the output from a “modules” command. There is also the ability to “load <moduleName>” and “unload <moduleName>”. For example, you could load or unload vrdim. It is the short name you see in the left most column that needs to be done.

To make this scriptable, you call ndstrace with the -c switch, followed by the command you want it to execute. Thus you could execute:

ndstrace -c unload vrdim

to stop Identity Manager. (Probably not something you would need to do often, but good to have it available).

The usual DSTRACE commands apply here. Some are throwbacks to the old days of Netware 4.11, like “set dstrace=nodebug” to clear all values, instead of the more modern DSTRACE -ALL that we got used to on Netware.

To trigger processes you would use the same commands as at a Netware console, like “set dstrace=*h” to kick off the sync process (H for heartbeat). “set dstrace=*ss” to start a Schema sync process. “set dstrace=*b” to kick off the backlinker process.

To enable more filters you can use commands like “set dstrace=+LDAP” or “set dstrace=-NMAS” to add LDAP events or remove NMAS events from the output to the screen.

ndsd.log:

A useful file to look at is ndsd.log, which should be wherever your DIB set is stored, in a log subdirectory.

An example is shown below.

May 09 09:49:43  NMAS Server Version:3.2.0.1 Build:20071127 started
May 09 09:49:43  SPM DClient already started (2)
May 09 09:49:43  Loading SecretStore Server...
May 09 09:49:43  Novell SecretStore Service Version 3.4.0 Loaded Successfully
May 09 09:49:43  Loading SecretStore LDAP Transport Plugin...
May 09 09:49:43  Novell SecretStore LDAP Plugin Version 3.4.0 Loaded Successfully.
May 09 09:49:43  SecretStore LDAP Extension Handler Loaded Successfully
May 09 09:49:43  LDAP Agent for Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1 (20114.57) started
May 09 09:49:43  NDS iMonitor 2.4 for Novell eDirectory v20111.59 started successfully.
May 09 09:49:44  SASL Version:3.2.0.0 Build:20070914 started
We are in DHost.
Novell JClient 1.3.1172-1.3.1172.  Copyright 1999 Novell Inc. All Rights Reserved.
[ -- DHost Logging STARTED Fri May  9 09:49:38 2008 -- ]
May 09 09:49:47  Novell PKI Services Started Successfully
May 09 09:49:47  Loading SecretStore NCP Transport Plugin...
May 09 09:49:47  Novell SecretStore NCP Plugin Version 3.4.0 Loaded Successfully.
May 09 09:53:30  Couldn't open macaddr
May 29 13:26:27  Repair utility for Novell eDirectory 8.8 - 8.8 SP1 v20112.44 Successfully loaded
May 29 13:26:27  Repair utility for Novell eDirectory 8.8 - 8.8 SP1 v20112.44 Successfully unloade
d
Jun 03 10:58:08  Got SIGINT/SIGTERM signal, server shutting down
Jun 03 10:58:40  Path of Novell eDirectory configuration file /var/opt/novell/eDirectory/nds.conf
Jun 03 10:58:40  Host process for Novell eDirectory 8.8 SP1 v20114.24 successfully started
Jun 03 10:58:40  DHLog: file size 1048576
Jun 03 10:58:40  MASVInit called
Jun 03 10:58:40  MASV : Initialized
Jun 03 10:58:40  NMAS Server Version:3.2.0.1 Build:20071127 started
Jun 03 10:58:40  SPM DClient Version:3.2.0.0 Build:20070914 started

You can see the modules that loaded, and version numbers for some of them. Most importantly, if something did not load, often the error might appear in this log, giving you a starting point to troubleshoot. Once you have an error message you are halfway to solving the problem.

/etc/opt/novell/eDirectory/conf/ndsmodules.conf

The ndsmodules.conf controls what modules start when ndsd is started. There are a couple of flags to control the start behavior. Auto is pretty obvious, automatically start when ndsd starts.

Modules flagged as system will not unload, which make sense when unloading them would pull the rug out from underneath the rest of the system.

If you flag something as “fail” it is usually foundational, and if it does not properly start, you can imagine that everything else should not load after it.

# ndsmodules.conf: NDS Module Description File
# This file describes the modules to be loaded at bootup.  Note that modules
# that need to be loaded would have auto flags set.  Other modules can also
# be present here if a default command line need to be specified. Modules
# will be loaded in the order that's listed here.
#
# Syntax:
# modulename    flags   cmdline
# Each line in this file represents a modulename.  It should not
# contain prefix(lib) or suffix(.so, .la etc.).  We'll look at a
# corresponding .la file to pickup the correct modulefile.
# flags:        should be a comma seperated (no whitespace) list of valid options.
#               auto -> autoloaded when dhost comes up
#               system -> Will not be unloaded.
#               fail   -> Treat as an error and exit if loading fails.
#               noop   -> No flags. MUST for specifying command line without any flags
#

dhlog                   auto,fail               #DHost logger
ncpengine               auto,system,fail        #Core NCP Services
dsloader                auto,system,fail        #Loader
masv                    auto,system,fail        #Modular Authentication Services
nds                     auto,system,fail        #Core DS Services
niciext                 auto
gams                    auto
snmp                    auto                    #snmp
httpstk                 auto                    #DHost HTTP Stack
hconserv                auto                    #HConServ
nldap                   auto                    #LDAP Server
imon                    auto                    #iMon
embox                   auto                    #eMBox
pkiserver               auto                    #PKI server
ssncp                   auto                    #SecretStore

If for some reason you did not want LDAP loading on your server at all, you could easily edit this file and comment out the line loads it as auto.

Knowing about these few tips and tricks can be very helpful in working on eDirectory/Identity Manager when running on Linux. If you have any other good suggestions, please respond with an article to contribute, so we all can benefit!

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Disclaimer: As with everything else at NetIQ Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by NetIQ, so Customer Support will not be able to help you if it has any adverse effect on your environment.  It just worked for at least one person, and perhaps it will be useful for you too.  Be sure to test in a non-production environment.

1 Comment

  1. By:6423241

    The URL http://www.novell.com/communities/node/4428/edit just gives a blank page “no match” at the top.

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